June 2022

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Medical Staff Newsletter

Read the latest VCH news for Medical Staff (Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Midwives & Dentists).​

The goal of the newsletters are to communicate timely & relevant updates; to create awareness around existing and upcoming groups, committees and events; and to invite and inspire individuals to get involved by showcasing existing medical s​taff and innovative projects.​

 Message from VCH Leadership


Everyone matters at Vancouver Coastal Health​
Vivian Eliopoulos, President and Chief Executive Officer

When I look around and see the 26,000 staff and medical staff at oneVCH, I am humbled by and in awe of the breadth of diversity in our backgrounds, our abilities and our experiences. When I think about the future of VCH, I feel inspired and hopeful for what we can achieve when we come together to deliver exceptional care in an environment that is safe, equitable and free from barriers for our people and the people we serve.

Our differences make us who we are as individuals, and the unique and valuable contributions of each individual make us stronger as a team.

Last month we launched a self-identification and workplace experience survey so we can better understand the state and needs of our current workforce and identify opportunities to improve the workplace.  By sharing your voice, you are helping us make better decisions that impact you and make our workplace a safe, equitable and inclusive environment where we all feel empowered to bring our whole and best selves.

​My sincerest gratitude to the medical staff who have embraced VCH's efforts to effect change. All of us are accountable, and we need to move forward together on this journey to create a culturally safe health care system where everyone feels safe and respected and where we all have an opportunity to thrive. 

Everyone deserves to belong 
Dr. Dean Chittock, Vice President, Medicine, Quality and Sa
Dr. Chad Kim Sing, Associate Vice President, Medicine, Quality and Safety

Dr. Dean Chittock (Left) and Dr. Chad Kim Sing (Right)

Being inclusive and representative is about how we treat people --each other and our patients-- in every day conversations and interactions. Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is more than initiative and goes beyond intelligence; it is a way to live kindly and compassionately so that those around us can live authentically and feel a sense of belonging. 

As medical staff, we work as part of collaborative teams to care for patients and clients who we can relate to and understand as well as those who are different from us. It is the unique people that truly help us to grow and teach us to be better care providers and humans.  

An inclusive, respectful workplace in health care is contagious. When we acknowledge and recognize our colleagues for who they authentically are, we foster stronger relationships and a culture of safety and trust. This can improve job satisfaction and morale, and this joy can spread infinitely. When our care teams feel good and reflect the populations we serve, our patients can see themselves and feel understood. Providing culturally safe and appropriate care is quality care. 

We are on this journey with you. Every day, we work to bring an inclusive lens to our clinical and administrative roles by actively listening with open minds and hearts --not listening to simply respond. This can be hard sometimes when there is a lot to do, but we value that this is building stronger relationships and connections. 

Embedding DEI into our culture at VCH is priority and it is going to take time to do it right and authentically. As leaders, we recognize and acknowledge that we are on this journey together. We are deeply committed to listening to you without judgement, being introspective and mindful of bias and nurturing an environment where you feel safe and supported to learn.  ​​​

 In the Spotlight

Championing diversity to improve health care outcomes

Photo: Dr. Joy Masuhara

​There are few people with a resume as extensive as that of Dr. Joy Masuhara when it comes to advocating for the underrepresented. 

The family physician and inaugural Regional Medical Director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) at Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) has a long and storied history of breaking down social and cultural barriers. Now, in her newly-appointed role, Joy hopes to draw upon her past experiences to establish a unified approach to DEI initiatives at VCH. 

“I'm absolutely thrilled about this new role, and I look forward to mobilizing all the different areas within the organization where a lot of this great work is already taking place," says Joy. “One of my key tasks will be to identify and support these existing activities, and coordinate them as efficiently as possible." 

The VCH Medical Staff Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee, which Joy co-chairs, has already defined many of these areas, but she says more data is needed to further identify opportunities and measure progress.

“We know that wellness intersects with DEI a great deal, and that psychological safety contributes to well-being," says Joy. “So we'll need to learn more about these areas within VCH and strategize around how to build on our successes."

Joy has worked with VCH Community Older Adult Mental Health and Substance Use (MHSU) Services for over 25 years, with the latter half focusing primarily on Chinese older adults. She also spearheaded a Physician-Led Quality Improvement (PLQI) project aimed at improving the quality of (and access to) mental health services for frail Chinese seniors.

“We were alarmed by the challenges facing the Chinese older adult community in recent years, including a rise in emergency visits stemming from untreated mental health issues," explains Joy. “We noticed multiple barriers to access to care in the Chinese community, such as language, lack of trust in the system, and the stigma around mental health."

After consulting with stakeholders and engaging with community members directly, Joy and her team developed a network to better support family physicians, and consequently improve health care outcomes for Chinese older adults.

Not only is Joy excited about her new role as DEI Regional Medical Director but she is also cognizant that her approach will undoubtedly be shaped by many of her own personal experiences.

“My lived experiences will surely influence how I navigate in this sphere, including the fact that I myself identify as a racialized lesbian," says Joy. “My experience working in mental health will hopefully be useful as well, in helping to address the stigma felt by those living with mental illness and poverty."

Joy is also a volunteer with Women Transforming Cities, a group helping to improve gender, racial and social equity and inclusion in urban settings.

​She was also instrumental in the fight for gay marriage rights in the early 2000's, leading to a favourable B.C. Court of Appeal decision in 2003, and eventually to the legalization of same-sex marriage in B.C.

“I learned so much through this experience," says Joy. “Mostly that even small groups of dedicated individuals can achieve big results and affect positive change." 

Although optimistic about her new role, Joy acknowledges the challenges that lie ahead, and views the path forward as a constant work in progress. 

“Making mistakes are in the spirit of learning," says Joy. “This work can be difficult and uncomfortable, but if we take a humble and mindful approach and continue learning and growing along the way, the results will come." 

Medical staff from all VCH CoCs/rural are welcome to join the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion committee, please contact Joy.Masuhara@vch.ca

For the Richmond & Coastal Medical Staff Associations, please find the following links:

RH: https://rhpsengagement.ca/dei-at-rh/

LGH: http://lghmsa.ca/lghpes/

A grassroots beginning

The new VCH role of regional medical director for diversity, equity and inclusion has been in the making for quite some time and informed by grassroots efforts. In partnership with VCH Physician Engagement, the Vancouver Physician Staff Association (VPSA) led an appreciative inquiry on the lack of women in medical leadership roles and published its findings in the Canadian Journal of Physician Leadership in 2020. Responding to the recommendations from the inquiry, VCH/VPSA created a DEI steering committee and three working groups (which includes members from the various CoCs) and expanded the mandate to include all types of diversity. 

A member of the VCH DEI steering committee and all three of its working groups, Dr. Lynn Straatman has been instrumental in the creation of the regional role. Prior to it, Lynn volunteered to lead the advancement of DEI efforts across VCH for several years in addition to her roles as a cardiologist at Vancouver General Hospital, palliative care physician in Vancouver Community of Care, researcher at VCH Research Institute, and Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of B.C. Our heartfelt thank you to Lynn for her medical leadership.​

 Opinion: Indigenous People’s Day

Dr. Don Wilson, Regional Medical Director, Indigenous Health

Photo: Dr. Don Wilson

In the era of increased awareness of the colonial experiment that is Canada, it is time for a reckoning on the question of Canadian-Indigenous reconciliation.

First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people have been asking for this for a very long time. We will continue to ask, demand, and require that Canada meet us in the Circle of Reconciliation. We all need to understand is that this is not just for the benefit of Indigenous peoples. The process of reconciliation is beneficial for the entire country. 

The blood of Indigenous people is a stain on this country. Ignoring this simply places Canada in the untenable position where any claim to moral or legal authority is greatly diminished, and attempts to move forward in a meaningful way on common societal goals simply become exercises in political theatrics. 

As Indigenous people continue to find ways to be heard, the message will continue to be the same. We want real, tangible steps to be taken in the reconciliation process. We are not asking for nebulous, performative responses. We have guidance from processes which have set the stage for participation by every member of Canadian society. And here's the thing: we are stuck with one another. So rather than gloss over realities of anti-Indigenous racism, outrageous inequities in social and structural determinants of health, systemic oppression, cultural and language deprivation, we can and must choose to engage and change these issues. It is beyond time for Canadians to learn to sit with their discomfort and learn from it. 

It is time for haíɫcístut. Haíɫcístut is the Heiltsuk word meaning “to turn around and make something right again." This is the word we use to convey the meaning and process of Reconciliation. 

As we approach another National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21, may we all take the opportunity to take another step in the direction of reconciliation. As Indigenous people, we are tired of living with trauma, tired of racism, tired of poverty, tired of grief, tired of educating the rest of Canada about who we are and why we experience all of the phenomena that makes the rest of Canada avoidant of us and our needs. We want to share in Canadian society as equals. We want to share the magic of what it means to be Indigenous, and let the beauty of who we are rise to the fore instead. 

Reconciliation is not possible without relationship. We need real Nation to Nation engagement, but we also need Canadians to assume the duty of self-education and the education of all of non-Indigenous Canada. I send forth a heartfelt call to action for everyone to explore further the Truth and Reconciliation Commission summary report and its 94 Calls to Action, as well as the In Plain Sight report and its 24 Calls to Action. These are concrete steps in education, and steps in the right direction. 

We look forward to meeting you in the Circle. ​


Equitable access to prescription medication

​No patient should have to decide between filling their prescription or buying food. This principle guides VCH's Medication Affordability Initiative.

Established in 2015, and led by Kimi Manhas, Dr. Lynn Straatman and Dr. Kenneth Gin, the goal of the Medication Affordability Initiative is to create actionable strategies that support patients and care providers address cost-related nonadherence (CRNA).  

CRNA is when a patient cannot afford and therefore does not take their prescribed medication. Cost-related nonadherence can include cutting pills, taking lower than prescribed doses, delaying refills and skipping doses. It can also include cutting back on other spending, such as food, bills or rent.  

Through collaboration between policymakers, health-care providers, researchers and internal and external stakeholders, the initiative aims to support equitable access to prescription medication using education and engagement strategies. 

“We recognized early on that medication affordability is an intricate and multilevel problem," says Kimi Manhas, Clinical Planner at VCH. Kimi spearheaded the project from its conception to its initial funding as a VPSA pilot project. 

To tackle CRNA the team had to examine the issue from every level: the patient, the health-care provider and the organization.  

At the patient level, they realized that there were people who were not able to afford their prescriptions, who could get sicker and require hospitalization or even die. 

​“When patients can't afford their medications it leads to increased morbidity and mortality," says Dr. Lynn Straatman, Medical Director, Cardiac Function Clinic, and Interim Medical Coordinator, Vancouver Home Hospice Palliative Care Service at VCH. “This is especially true for patients who are already facing increased healthcare burdens due to other disadvantages in their social determinants of health." 

At the provider level, many healthcare providers were unaware of medication affordability issues or solutions; and at the organizational level, many leadership team members were unaware of the impacts of medication affordability, so a systemic approach had not been taken to address the problem. 

“We learned that many healthcare providers did not know about the resources available to support patients," says Kimi. “The resources were not easily accessible in one place. If health-care providers have patients who cannot afford their prescription medications, they need a quick and easy way to direct them to the right resources."  

Rather than coming up with stop gap solutions, the group has worked to create systemic change so that those most affected by CRNA – women, young adults, Indigenous peoples, those with poorer health statuses and those lacking drug insurance coverage – have more support. 

So, what can you do as a physician? 

“The first step is to simply ask every patient 'Can you afford your medications?'" says Dr. Straatman. “This simple question lets the patient know that you see them as a whole person. You also need to know what you can do to help: from prescribing medications using the lowest cost possible, to asking about your patient's enrolment in Fair Pharmacare or other programs, to filling out the appropriate special authority forms and determining whether every medication you are prescribing is necessary for their health." 

Learn more about the resources and tools created by VPSA's Medication Affordability Initiative. To get involved with the initiative, contact Kimi Manhas (Kimi.Manhas@vch.ca).

Meeting translation needs with an in-house team

Photo: Rose Jen, Program Leader, Language Services​​​

Communication is key. Nowhere is that more apparent that in a health-care setting.

Health-care providers need to be able to share detailed information, such as post-operative instructions, and know that their patients understand the information.

In 2020 and 2021, the VCH Community Engagement team worked with stakeholders including, SUCCESS, Immigrant Services Society of BC, the South Vancouver Neighbourhood Health Network, Collingwood Neighbourhood Health Network, and VCH medical staff, on an outreach project to determine what interpreting and translation services would benefit patients.

They heard from stakeholders that to best meet the translation needs of the community, an in-house translation team was needed. Currently, the Language Services Team consists of a program leader, program coordinator and contract translators. The team's goal is to provide a centralized system to ensure translation accuracy and cultural appropriateness across the health authority.

Rose Jen, Program Leader, Language Services, manages the new Language Services Team. As a certified medical interpreter and a medical translator, Rose knows the importance of accuracy in medical translation. 

“I have experienced the emotion of relaying difficult information to patients, the importance of accuracy and the real-life consequences of miscommunication," says Rose. “I remember interpreting for a senior patient who needed to use a puffer. It turned out they had almost died because they didn't know how to use it properly. Although an interpreter was present in their first appointment, a translated brochure to refer to when they got home would have made a huge difference in their care." 

Having an in-house translation team and using the Translation Style Guide will help ensure consistency. Previously, every clinic did their own translations for materials, which led to inconsistencies in language use, terminologies, register, and tone, amongst other linguistic elements. 

Now health-care staff have one place to submit their request and access the Translation Framework to help them determine whether their materials are eligible for translation. By streamlining this intake, it also means that previously translated items can be repurposed across various VCH settings. 

“On average, we get about five to six translation requests a month," says Rose. “Keep in mind that each request could have five plus languages (the VCH top five spoken languages are Cantonese and Mandarin (62 per cent), Punjabi (7.2 per cent), Spanish (5.78 per cent) and Vietnamese (5.14 per cent)) that the document needs to be translated into, and some are rather large projects so that adds up." 

Since demand is high for translation services, the framework created by Community Engagement, helps health-care providers determine if they need translation services, or if interpreting services would be a better fit for what they need. 

Health-care providers should answer yes to the following before requesting translation services from the Language Services Team:

  • Will the content affect patient/client health care access or outcomes?

    • Have you determined that translated content for this subject isn't already available?

  • Does the content include complex patient care information?

    • Does the content impact greater than 1,000 patients?

  • Will the content be relevant for greater than 12 months?

    • Will the content be made available online or through patient education?

  • Is the content written using simple language with as little medical jargon as possible? 

“Those who request translations might be surprised to learn how long it takes to translate documents," says Rose. “A two-page, double-spaced document takes about a week to complete because we also need to factor in translator availability, proofreading, and editing. The number of words to translate doesn't always reflect the amount of work. Slogans, terms or expressions without context, or documents that are graphic-heavy, typically take longer to complete. Then there needs to be a post-layout proofreading, so typically, the total time for document translation could take around 7-10 business days." 

Learn more​ about how to submit materials for translation to the Language Services Team.


​Search and selection process: Using a diversity, equity and inclusion lens

Having an inclusive and representative team of medical staff at VCH is a priority. It is important that medical staff feel a sense of belonging and reflect the populations they serve.  

Research shows that culturally safe and appropriate care improves patient health outcomes and the quality of care; it can also enrich provider experiences. 

At VCH, having an inclusive and representative team of medical staff is a priority. It is also important to medical leaders that all medical staff feel welcome in their place of work and do not encounter barriers or stigma as they serve our population. 

This starts with recruitment and hiring. Though VCH is starting to use a DEI lens in search and selection for medical staff appointments, medical leaders shared barriers and challenges with the VCH Health Authority Medical Advisory Committee (HAMAC) at its meeting in May. Feedback centered on HR supports, adequate skills and training requirements, inclusive job posting language, equitable access to posting platforms and alignment with UBC recruitment processes, when required. 

HAMAC is working with Medical Affairs to revise the current standard operating procedure for search and selection to include a stronger focus on DEI, reconciliation and cultural sensitivity.   While this is underway, medical leaders and staff are encouraged to contact VCH Medical Affairs or a HAMAC member in your community of care with questions or for support in medical staff search and selection. 

Read the May 2022 HAMAC Highlights.


Indigenous birth work is a form of resurgence

Indigenous midwives are working to restore Indigenous birthing practices and contributing to health-related calls to action from Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. 

Not only are Indigenous midwives providing culturally safe care and filling gaps in primary health care services, they are also rebuilding capacity in Indigenous communities to bring birth closer to home and to reclaim the traditional roles of midwives. As part of VCH's Indigenous Health team, midwife members are strategically identifying and fixing gaps in the perinatal health care system. Read the full story on oneVCH.​

 Did You Know?

​Medical Practitioners Occupational Safety and Health (mPOS​H): Evolving services

Based on its success since it launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, the Physician Occupational Safety and Health (POSH) service is making some exciting changes. This includes expanding services to medical staff, taking on more occupational health concerns and refreshing its name to reflect the professionally diverse community it serves. The new program name is Medical Practitioners Occupational Safety and Health (mPOSH) service. MPOSH's new email address is mposh.vch@ubc.ca. Get the details in the April mPOSH Update.​

 Upcoming Events & Conferences

June 21, 2022 | Outdoor Screen: Stories from Musqueam

In recognition of National Indigenous Peoples' Day on June 21, the Belkin's Outdoor Screen will present a selection of videos that feature the work and words of Musqueam artists, cultural knowledge keepers and community members. Screenings begin at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., as well as a 6 p.m. one-time screening of c̓əsnaʔəm: the city before the city. Learn more.


June 23, 2022 | Ceremonial fire at xwc̓ ic̓ əsəm Garden, UBC Farm

The importance of community safety, wellbeing, and support has been on our hearts and minds during this time. In that spirit, and to honour the xwməθkwəy̓ əm lands we share, The First Nations House of Learning and xʷc̓ic̓əsəm Garden at UBC Farm invite BIPOC/Indigenous students, faculty, staff and community members to the monthly ceremonial fire supported by local Elders. Fire offerings, tea and bannock provided at 3461 Ross Drive, Vancouver, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Learn more.


June 27, 2022 | Pride Event: Virtual Talk by Dr. James Makokis

In this talk from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., Dr. Makokis, a Nehiyô (Plains Cree) family physician in Alberta, will share his experience as a two-spirit physician and with treating 2SLGBTQIA+ patients focusing on both provider and patient perspective. This event is presented by the VCH Medical Staff Culture and Environment Working Group, and the Vancouver Physician Staff Association is offering DoorDash gift cards for the first 50 registrants. Register.


July 23, 2022 | Hello My Name Is (HMNI)

The HMNI campaign will celebrate the importance of introductions in care. This campaign was started by Dr. Kate Granger in the UK, a physician battling terminal cancer who noticed what a huge difference introductions by health care providers had on her experience. Growing human connections in care really can start with a simple introduction. 

Our values of caring for everyone, always learning and striving for better results mean that diversity, equity and inclusion matter for all of us. The HMNI campaign allows us to come together as a team and partner with our patients and caregivers to optimize the patient experience and work towards exceptional care. 

With the diversity of the communities we care for, the way we introduce ourselves and the way our patients introduce themselves can look different to honour individual preferences, cultures and communities. HMNI has becomes more than just a simple introduction: it is the recognition of a whole person. 

Taking part in HMNI is easy:

  1. Remember to introduce ourselves to patients/clients/families/caregivers.
  2. Let the patient know our role and what we are about to do.
  3. Before leaving, ask the patient “Is there anything else I can do for you?"

 ​Learn more about the HMNI campaign and how to involve your team or department this year!

November 9 - 10, 2022| 2022 Canada West Health Leaders Virtual Conference

With a theme of Evolving Leadership: Grounding healthcare in justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, this virtual conference will explore how to develop strategies that foster justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in our organizations, and what tools do leaders need to nurture and re-energize the healthcare workforce and enhance capacity to implement meaningful change and achieve results; and more. Register.


November 15 - 16, 2022| 2022 infoWay Partnership Conference

Learn more about Infoway's latest initiatives and health sector updates from wide range of national and international leaders and experts. Register.

Planetary Health in Photos

In the March 2022 issue of the Medical Staff Newsletter, we invited you to send in your favourite planetary health-themed photos – ones you found beautiful and meaningful in your everyday lives. Here are just a few that caught our eye:

Photo credit: Dr. Marla Gordon 





Photo credit: Leah Christoff


 Upcoming Courses & Training

VCH Intro to Transgender Cultural Safety in Healthcare

June 28, September 27, October 25, and November 29; 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.
Online, Facilitated; at no cost

Develop skills to welcome and support trans, two-spirit and gender diverse individuals who receive our care; in order to increase safety and access for folks, and promote health and wellness. Register on the Learning Hub.


VCH/PHC Physician Led Quality Improvement Level 2 Training

July 7 - 8, 2022; 12:30 - 4:00 p.m.

Online, facilitated; at no cost.

A custom built training introduction to fundamental quality improvement (QI) skills and concepts. For those interested in leading a QI project, our funding model and program supports will be discussed. Register.

Note: CME accredited, funding provided for seven hours sessional rate.

VCH Influential Leadership: The Power of Power - Using It Responsibly

July 13, 2022; 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Online, Facilitated; at no cost. 

Identify the power factors that underpin successful influencing skills; viewed through psychological safety and the DEI lenses of power and positionality. To ensure that all leaders understand how they wield power and to use it wisely. Register on the Learning Hub.


VCH Communicating Unexp​ected Outcomes Disclosure Training  

July 15 & 16; 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Online, Facilitated; at no cost

Enhance your communication skills for disclosing clinical errors with honesty, empathy and respect; learn to improve your support of other team members in difficult circumstances.  Register on the Learning Hub.


Canadian College of Health Leaders LEADS Leadership Foundations

September 6 - December 21; 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Register. | 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Register.

Online, Facilitated; $1,775 plus taxes.

Approximately three months to complete the full program, which offers open enrolment. Completion of a LEADS Leadership Foundations program or its individual domain modules, provides the groundwork of leader skill learning. They also provides the opportunity for increased awareness of LEADS throughout organizations and community partners, contributing to the shifting of leadership conversations culture throughout the health system. Create a LEADS-based leadership development path that incorporates custom content, and a blended format of interactive webinars plus the time and space in between to reflect on learnings.


Institute of Health Innovation Finding and Creating Joy in Work

September 14, 2022

Online. Coaching; $549 or $275 to $475 IHI member

Biweekly video content, three all-learner calls, and an opportunity for added coaching. This online course with coaching is full of new thinking, resources, strategies, frameworks, and solutions will help workforces truly thrive, not just survive.  The course will share proven quality improvement  methods to create a positive work environment that fosters camaraderie, meaning, choice, and equity, and ensures the commitment to delivering high-quality care, even in stressful times. Register.


Joule Leadership Begins with Self-Awareness

September 26 - November 6; 4:30 p.m.
Online, facilitated; blended; $1,750 or $1,400 CMA member

Weekly live webinars and three to four hours of self-led activities. In this Physician Leadership Institute course, you will begin to develop a profound sense of self through examining your personal vision and values, personality attributes, emotional intelligence skills and intrinsic strengths. These personal insights will help shape your leadership development plan. Register.


VCH Substance Use Simulation Videos: Walter's Day, No Wrong Turns, Together and Hidden Pain

October 24 - 25, 2022
Online, Facilitated; at no cost

The series of videos explore themes of cultural safety, care planning, and management of withdrawal. Using a video as the simulation provides participants to see a patient story, clinical interaction, and hear an interview with a person with lived/living experience. The videos are stopped at certain points, and debrief is facilitated. Register on the Learning Hub.


VCH Indigenous Cultural Safety: An Introduction

Online, Self-directed; no cost.

Through a series of eight 30-minute videos and exercises, this course is a primer to our in-person foundational level ICS training. Includes Terminology; Vancouver Coastal Health's Indigenous Cultural Safety Policy; Practicing Self-Reflection & engaging in Cultural Humility; Indigenous Cultural Safety Resources. Register on the Learning Hub.


VCH/PHC Physician-led Quality Improvement Level 1 Training

Online; at no cost.

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) offers dozens of online courses to medical staff (physician, midwives, NPs and dentists) on quality improvement, patient safety, and leadership, amongst others. Register.

Note: Physicians are eligible for sessional payment of five hours upon completion of Level 1 Training.


VCH Trauma Informed Care

Online, Self-directed; at no cost.

A six-hour learning module from Alberta Health Services that will describe what trauma and trauma informed care is as well as identify your role in trauma informed care and the principles that guide trauma informed care. It will also support you to reflect on what you could do to engage in TIC within your role. Register on the Learning Hub.

Scholarship Support for Physicians

VCH Physicians may be eligible for coverage of tuition / registration fees for the above course & conferences from the Physician Leadership Training Scholarship offered by the Specialist Services Committee. Before starting a course, complete and submit a scholarship application form.​

​Thank you

Our gratitude to the members of the Editorial Board and staff including Allison Chiu and Brian Lane from the Medical Quality Leadership and Practice team for their support and contributions to this issue of the newsletter.  

​Contact List​​​

Medical Directors: 

Vancouver Acute Vancouver Community

Vinay Dhingra
Co-Senior Medical Director



Ladan Sadrehashemi
Co-Senior Medical Director


Michael Norbury
Senior Medical Director



Richmond Acute Richmond Community

Nancy Austin
Co-Senior Medical Director


Alexandros (Aleco) Alexiadis
Co-Senior Medical Director Alexandros.Alexiadis@vch.ca

Peter Edmunds
Senior Medical Director



Lauri-Ann Shearer
Local Medical Director, R.W. Large Memorial Hospital (Bella Bella)



Jeffrey Peimer
Local Medical Director, Bella Coola General Hospital



Jim Fuller
Local Medical Director, Pemberton Health Centre



Rachel Bell
Local Medical Director, Powell River General Hospital



Neha Musini
Associate Local Medical Director, Powell River General Hospital



Marius Welgemoed
Local Medical Director, Sechelt Hospital



Jennifer Baxter
Associate Local Medical Director, Sechelt Hospital



Stephen Masselink
Local Medical Director, Squamish General Hospital



Rua Read
Associate Local Medical Director, Squamish General Hospital



Fe​rn vo​n der Porten
Local Medical Director, Whistler Health Care Centre



​​VCH is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes input from racialized persons / persons of color, women, indigenous / Aboriginal People of North America, persons with disabilities, LGTBQIA2S+, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.